This segment of the Kyoto Trail has a bit of everything – river crossings, hill-climbs, secluded hamlets, Shinto shrines, history, great scenery.
I commenced this hike at the J.R.Hozukyo Station, after a 20-minute train ride from Kyoto Station, then walked 2km to the trail proper. The forst 7km is along the banks of the Kiyotaki River, with the Kyoto Trail passing through the settlements of Kiyotaki and Takao. It then heads inland, over a hill to the Sawano Pond, and another set of hills, emerging onto route-31. A junction then leads you to the Himura Shrine, and the last hill climb before emerging at route-61.
The course is suitable for anyone, regardless of experience, but some fitness is required. And care is required when traversing the Kiyotaki River.
The Kyoto Trail course can be broken at two points – the settlement of Kiyotaki and at Takao, where a bus will return you to Kyoto Station. At the conclusion you will have to walk about 2km to the nearest bus stop. There is a community bus that passes the track conclusion at about 2:30pm and takes you to Kitaoji.
The course is very well signposted and maintained and, if you have a Kyoto Trail map, all details are in Japanese and English.
Every second shop is an eatery of one sort or another. from the traditional Japanese restaurant, the cafes, the western style establishments or the combination store.
When doing this hike I suggest you pack adequite food and drink.